For a little while earlier this year, I was telling people that I needed a vacation from my life. There's work which is always going to be a challenge (they don't call it "work" for nothing!) and then the multitude of personal responsibilities (fitness, friends, family, cleaning the house so we're not living in squalor) we want to balance against that. And, oh yeah, we occasionally want to have fun, too.
Now, don't get me wrong, some of the personal things are definitely fun! I love spending time with family; in fact, I'm probably one of few people who really enjoys spending time with her in-laws. And fitness is generally fun for me because I get to focus on a practice (Muay Thai) set to music which appeals to that geeky problem-solving little punk that lives inside my brain. I'm also fortunate that I've made friends at the gym so I can kill 2 birds with one stone there!
However, as you've probably surmised, these things do come at a cost — which ultimately makes them worth doing, but also sometimes hard. Family time can be flippin' impossible to schedule because schedules. And my training time is typically in the early morning which means a dedication to getting my ass out of bed at 5:25 in the morning and then being ready to leave the house exactly 20 minutes later.
I can go on and on about how hard it is sometimes to schedule with friends or even my husband, for that matter! I don't like to be busy for the sake of being busy but I definitely prioritize my workouts and some other activities (like drying my hair because that takes forever…) which means I have to plan my life around them. And I love that. Overall, I enjoy how I spend my time (except for any time spent mopping floors) and who I spend it with.
But, sometimes, I just need a break.
I was reading a couple of good articles recently about recovery and detachment which are more or less the same thing in my mind. We talk a lot about recovery in fitness. Your muscles need a certain amount of time apart from exercise in order to repair and get bigger and better. However, we don't spend enough time talking about recovery from the rest of the stressors in our day-to-day life.
Sometimes, I need a little alone time; we all do. I joke that when my husband is away I get the TV to myself. And yes, sometimes that means I watch reality TV, HBO or CSPAN — don't judge me — and I revel in that! But, in truth, he and I are both really fiercely independent people. I would feel like a caged animal if I didn't get a smidge of time apart every now and then; I know he'd feel the same. Right now, I'm on the west coast for a business trip. While I'm bummed he won't be able to enjoy the sight-seeing I'm going to tack on to the end of the trip, I'm okay with having a little bit of time apart. What is that old saying? Absence makes the heart grow fonder? I'm already very fond of my husband but being away does help me not take how wonderful of a person he is for granted.
And I think part of having a little me time is also not having to make too many major decisions or really think about anyone else in my decision making. I do worry about making the wrong decision (I have a little bit of FOMO — fear of missing out) but ultimately at least that's only bugging me and not anyone else. Sometimes I think I get decision-making-fatigue which inevitably leads to indecision in GrubHub restaurant selection. "What do YOU want for dinner?" is a phrase that is heard ad nauseum in our household.
I tend to be a planner — I generally like to plan trips and host folks — but over the past couple of months I've been so over it. Perhaps that has something to do with the frustrations of house-hunting, but I digress. That said, I'm hoping this little respite (from day-to-day work and responsibilities) renews my energy so I can focus on some of the stuff I need to plan for the rest of the year. Assuming Florida doesn't get obliterated by another hurricane any time soon, I'd like to head out to visit my niece and nephew (who are little and adorable) down there for the holiday season. And, between now and then, there's some northeast to explore with some plans forming around visiting DC, Philly and New Jersey.
That said, I think figuring out a way to detach more regularly is going to ultimately be a good thing and I need to find a way to do that without feeling guilty. Maybe we should call it mindful procrastination? For instance, when I spend an hour Pinterest-ing rain coat ideas, that's me-time detaching, right? I'm definitely not totally delaying picking where we are going to eat…